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Guidelines for Examination

 
 

9.1.4 Supplementary European search report

In the case of a supplementary European search report according to Art. 153(7), it is also permissible under certain circumstances to have no documents at all cited on the supplementary European search report (see B‑IV, 2.5). In such cases, the expression "No further relevant documents disclosed" will appear in the search report. However, in such cases, the search opinion (if applicable, see B‑XI, 7) will give an opinion on the patentability of the claimed invention over the state of the art cited in the International Search Report (B‑XI, 1.1).

If the Search Division disagrees with the ISA opinion on the relevance of a document cited in the international search report to the novelty and/or inventive step of the claimed invention, the document in question should not be re-cited in the supplementary European search report with a new, corrected document category. The exception to this is where the examiner wishes to combine a first document found only in the supplementary European search as a "Y" category with a second document already cited in the international search report: in this case the examiner may re-cite the second document from the international search report in the supplementary European search report as a "Y" document in combination with the first document.